Friday, November 27, 2015

jerome simpson

Three players.  The undetermined futures.  Three attempts at an answer.

Antoine Winfield

As readers pointed out to me last night, I was wr-wr-wr-wr-mistaken in saying that Antoine Winfield would be playing for a $3 million salary next season.  Winfield played enough snaps this season to trigger an escalator for 2013, and reverse a de-escalator for 2012, and he will be owed $7.25 million if the Vikings keep him next season.

The way Winfield has been playing at age 35, there is little reason other than the salary to expect the Vikings to part ways with him, as he has arguably been as valuable as any member of this defense.  Evidence of this can be seen by watching last weekend’s game and seeing the passing game of the Packers pick up after Winfield made his early exit.

All indications are that Winfield will do everything possible to play this Saturday night, and he has also reportedly has no interest in hanging up his cleats after this season.  Depending on just how much longer Winfield plans on playing may determine his willingness to renegotiate a contract extension to reduce his 2013 cap number.

Percy Harvin

I got this question more than once since the Vikings qualified for the postseason, and the answer is “no,” Percy Harvin cannot be reactivated from the injured reserve and make a playoff appearance.  In a new rule, teams are allowed to designate one player per season as “eligible for return” when they are placed on injured reserve, but the Vikings has already used this designation on Chris Cook prior to Harvin’s injury.  Cook, of course, has since been able to return and have an impact in the last two games.

Disclaimer:  The rest of this is 100% pure speculation.

Harvin suffered a ligament tear in his ankle and was placed on injured reserve on December 5th, a time when the Vikings playoff hopes looked to be all but dead.  He has since had an emergency appendectomy.

What isn’t know, however, is whether or not Harvin would otherwise be healthy enough to return at some point during a playoff run if the rules allowed it.  Earlier in December, there was some speculation that Harvin has once again grown disgruntled with the Vikings brass and his decision to rehab in Florida instead of Minnesota will only fuel such speculation, whether it is founded or otherwise.

I just can’t help but wonder if we will soon be getting word from Harvin, via Twitter of course, that he feels healthy enough to play football and wishes he were on the field.

This type of development would prove that Harvin is not happy with the Vikings, but also divide a fan base with half of them wondering if Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman prematurely ending his season was a huge blunder.  After all, guys like defensive end George Johnson, who found a roster spot thanks to Harvin’s absence, haven’t exactly had a huge impact at the bottom of the roster.  A guy like Harvin could potentially be a game changer at any point in any game.

His future with the team remains a mystery, but I expect we’ll be hearing much more very soon.

Jerome Simpson

A troubled receiver receives a prove-it deal in Minnesota.  Said receiver proceeds to get himself constantly hurt and underperform greatly.  If that wasn’t enough to guarantee his ticket out of town following the season, then calling one of the local media’s most respected beat writers a “douchebag” ought to do the trick.

Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN said that on Tuesday Jerome Simpson, for unknown reasons, called him a douchebag and that Leslie Frazier later called the reporter to apologize for his receiver’s words.

Now, I don’t know Pelissero personally, but I have spoken with him on a couple of occasions and interacted with him plenty and would not characterize him as anything other than honest, opinionated, and hard working.

I don’t know the whole story, but I am guessing that if Frazier is anything like any boss I have ever had, having to call and apologize for one of his employee’s actions will not sit well with him.

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I didn’t understand it. How could the Vikings be getting absolutely demolished at home against a 2-4 Buccaneers team? This isn’t possible. This just cannot be happening.

And then it happened. It hit me hard – harder than Chris Kluwe pu… Nevermind…

But I just didn’t understand it until NFL Network shared this wonderful stat with us: The Buccaneers broke their 10 road game losing streak with a win over, our beloved purple, the Minnesota Vikings.

Why didn’t anyone mention the Buccaneers hadn’t won an away game in 640 minutes of football. This thing could have been much easier to endure.

Nevertheless, here we are. The Vikings are 5-3. We got decimated at home by a 2-4 team. The sky is falling. I’m on the ledge. Take your positivity elsewhere. Angry Brett has arrived.

This venting session brought to you courtesy of Angry Brett

Where to begin?

When Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff for 103 yards for a touchdown, the tone of this game was set when the referees announced that Marvin Mitchell’s block to the back was getting it called back.  Despite a number of bad mistakes, missed opportunities, and questionable play calls the Vikings were able to beat the hapless Cardinals by a score of 21 – 14.

Here are some post-game thoughts:

Peterson Looked Fantastic

Adrian had a great game, point blank.  He ran the ball 23 times for 153 yards (6.6 yard average), and scored the first touchdown of the day on a beautiful 13 yarder.  He tacked on two catches for six yards.

Peterson had his best game of the season and finally truly looked to be back to his old self.  He was making quick cuts, had some getup in his step, and put on an impressive display of power running on a number of occasions.

On a day when the offense couldn’t seem to move through the air at all, Peterson’s dominance couldn’t have come at a better time.

That’s right ya’ll, a Wizard Of Oz reference in the title.  Oh, snap!  Hey Judy Garland was from Minnesota, so it fits, stop scoffing!

Anyways, as I am sure you all have seen by now (sorry, computer bugs struck this week) Jerome Simpson has made it clear that he was not happy about Leslie Frazier’s decision to keep him out of last Sunday’s game against the Redskins.

I expected to read quotes about Simpson wishing he could have helped lift his team to victory, how he could have helped stretch the field and open up the run game.

“You lose $60,000 you’d be mad, too,” is instead the Simpson quote making the rounds, referencing the fact that he lost his weekly roster bonus by not being active.

While Simpson said more than just that and said he and Frazier are now on the same page, Simpson’s quote bothered me more from a philosophical standpoint.  Simpson didn’t lose anything at all, in reality, and his words hint that maybe he hasn’t learned the lessons he claimed he has.

Simpson didn’t earn his weekly roster bonus because the head coach, who can deactivate him any week for any reason, chose to sit him.  That weekly roster bonus is a result of the way his contract was written.  The contract was written that way because Simpson was sitting on the free agent shelf long after the free agency period opened, largely due to concerns about how long his suspension would be.  His suspension was the result of Simpson’s trouble with the law after a large amount of drugs was delivered to his home.

Action.  Reaction.

Action.  Consequence.

Simpson’s quote is a far cry from the “I’m just grateful to have another opportunity” type of quotes we were getting after he signed with the Vikings, and that is really disappointing to me.

So, now that I have done the second-best thing I do – harp on players like a mother hen – let me do what I actually do best… provide irresponsibly wild speculation.

For a rebuilding year, the 4-2 Vikings are surprisingly close to first place in the NFC North and, by all appearances, are capable of beating any team on any given Sunday if the stars align properly.

One of those stars that could possibly be in line?  How does Dwayne Bowe sound?

The Chiefs star receiver reportedly wants out of Kansas City and there are even some rumors already that he could be part of a pre-deadline deal to Miami, a logical landing spot.  If, however, the Vikings win their next two games (which I fully expect them to) and they are ever-so-close to a playoff spot then they may also become a logical spot for the 28 year old receiver.

Bowe is a big, physical receiver that is capable of stretching the field… just not in the traditional speed-based sort of way.  He is durable, as he has played in all but five games over five and a half seasons, and always seems to contribute at a high level no matter how poorly his team, and quarterbacks, are playing.

Bowe has had maturity issues of his own in the not-so-distant past, but I just can’t imagine him being anything but the perfect complement to Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph.  It just seems logical.

What might not seem so logical, once known, is Kansas City’s asking price and Bowe’s contract desires.  That could be a major hiccup in any deal, with any team they try and deal with, but for now I just can’t help but think I am not way off base here… and in a week or two we might be hearing from major media outlets about Minnesota as a potential landing spot for Bowe.

After all, the last time we swung a blockbuster deal with the Chiefs for a troubled talent in his prime, it worked out pretty well.

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